By-election voting underway

By Adel Fruean 26 November 2021, 1:26PM

The main round of voting in the country's much anticipated series of six by-elections - all unresolved contests from April's national poll -  started on Friday morning.

Voters in six constituencies across Upolu were lining up at voting booths on Friday morning.

There are 15,992 eligible voters for the by-elections; of this total more than one thousand were eligible to make use of pre-polling booths which opened on Wednesday.

A total of 580 votes pre-poll ballots cast for the election on that day.

After voting, Esau Fuimaono from Salani, Falealili said he was happy to see voters coming to make their decisions in choosing a candidate who will contribute for the betterment of the constituency.

By 8 am some of the voters were seen lining up at one of the voting booths at Salani, Falealili.

While some of the voting booths at Aleipata Itupa I Lalo Constituency were seen with around three or four voters waiting in line while some were empty.

Some of the voters included the senior citizens who walked to the voting booths around 8am just to have the chance to vote. 

An elderly mother told the Samoa Observer that voting is significant because it is her right to voice who she sees fit to lead her Constituency.

On Monday, the number of contests was reduced by one after the court ruled that a by-election candidate was ineligible to contest the election just days before poll's opening. Fuiono Tenina Crichton was declared its new Member of Parliament for the seat of Falealupo.

 The Fa’atuatua ile Atua Samoa ua Tasi (F.A.S.T.) party candidate filed a petition questioning the eligibility of his rival and Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.). 

The Supreme Court found that the candidate for the seat, Tuitogamanaia Dr. Peniamina Leavai, was not eligible to contest the election because of his failure to fulfill monotaga (service) requirements to the church. 

The decision means F.A.S.T. now holds a 27-seat majority in the parliament going into the by-elections, including the Speaker's role, while H.R.P.P.'s seats number 18.


By Adel Fruean 26 November 2021, 1:26PM
Samoa Observer

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